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Adverse childhood experiences and children’s development in early care and education programs

Early care and education (ECE) programs can support resilience among children with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Yet children impacted by ACEs often experience challenges in ECE. To guide interventions to support school-readiness, a better understanding of engagement and development in ECE among children with ACEs is needed. The current study employed multiple methods (observation, teacher-report, direct assessment) to examine children’s engagement, social skills and behaviors, self-regulation and early academic skills in relation to their ACEs, including an extended ACEs index that includes experiences outside the home. Participants were 92 preschool-aged children attending various ECE programs (24% home-based). Children’s negative engagement was consistently linked to their ACEs. The extended ACEs index was also negatively associated with self-regulation, math, and task engagement. ACEs were not related to social skills, problem behaviors, or positive engagement with teachers. Findings suggest the need for increased efforts to support children with ACEs within their ECE programs. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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